Revelation 22:2b On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
There are terrible things going on in the world right now and many nations are suffering. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is horrifically intensifying. Russia and Ukraine are involved in skirmishes which may one day develop into a full scale war. Children on the US-Mexico border are dying of thirst or being inhumanely abused by drug smuggling cartels. Christians are being forced out of their homes or persecuted into denying their faith in Mosul by Islamic extremists. And in West Africa, the dreaded Ebola virus is fearfully spreading and may travel across the African continent.
We live in fearful times. Unrest, violence, disease, famine, and war are rampantly striding across the globe. And if we add irreversible climate change to the whole planetary package, then it seems as though the 21st century is not going to be the beginning of a wonderful new age and new world after all.
However, this is not God’s plan for the world or its people. Through Jesus, there is the great opportunity of bringing healing to the nations. In Revelation 22, after all of the upheaval of the end times, peace reigns once more because suffering, pain, inhumanity, and even death are extinguished forever. The Earth returns to its initial Edenic state and the fruits of the Tree of Life are no longer prohibited. God’s faithful people are rewarded for their constancy; Christ’s followers are welcomed and restored into the everlasting peaceable kingdom.
I wish that this healing of the nations would begin today. In my heart, I pray for this throughout the world. Jesus is the cure for all of the present evils on this planet. If only His Church could get its act together and fulfill the role that it was always meant to accomplish: being the Messenger of the Good News and the instrument of Christ’s Peace.
Questions for personal reflection
What areas of unrest in the world truly concern me today? Am I actively praying for peace and healing in those tormented parts of our planet?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, the world is in a sorry state right now, and so much of it has been caused by our own sinful and selfish ways. We pray for Your true peace to be known all over this planet and for the healing of the nations to become an actuality. Please, Lord Jesus, come among us again and let Your powerful presence save us from ourselves. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to make a comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s Pentecost stained glass design called “Spirit Guide.” If you would like to view a larger version of the drawing, please click on the following link: SpiritG.